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News Nation

News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.

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Us 13, Charlie Sheen 11, Dolphins 8, U.s. 8, Clarence Thomas 5, America 5, Geico 4, Nbc 4, Tennessee 3, Courtney Hazlett 3, Mexico 3, Virginia 3, Madoff 3, Libya 3, Franco 3, Gadhafi 3, Schultz 2, Jeff Corwin 2, Obama 2, Clinton 2,
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  MSNBC    News Nation    News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and  
   informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.  

    February 28, 2011
    2:00 - 3:00pm EST  

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country. the president set to meet with u.n. secretary-general in the hour. budget battle. time is ticking as lawmakers try to figure out middle ground before a government shutdown friday. can they agree on a solution? also, you've seen this, charlie sheen speaking out in his first television interview after his hit show was canceled for the season. >> i'm tired of pretending like i'm not special i'm tired of pretend like i'm [ bleep ] report star from mars. >> what about report his wants to sue for more than $300 million. the "news nation" gut check, parents fight back after a school ends corple punishment. why a lot of parents want to keep paddling. good day. break weather news just in. you can see it on your screen. a tornado has touched down, this
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is about a mile away from a middle school in franklin county, tennessee. we're getting new information as we speak. that school was occupied, it was in session at the time, but we're hearing from the vice principal no immediate reports of injuries. the students were in the school's designated safe zones, againing taking place in franklin county, tennessee, students will stay there until warnings expire. again a tornado touching down in parts of tennessee. that's about two hours outside nashville. the "news nation" following late developments from libya. president obama is moments away from meeting with u.n. secretary-general boan ki-moon about the crisis. the u.s. is upping its involvement. the pentagon, now positioning some of its war ships near the suez canal in case the u.s. needs it wade into the turmoil. also today, secretary of state hillary clinton said, during a news conference in geneva, the u.s. is sending two teams of experts to the border to assess
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the need for aid. clinton also said reports of atrocities including reports of soldiers being executed for refusing to kill protesters were, in her words, not be tolerated. >> colonel gadhafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency. >> nbc's stephanie gosk is joining us now. stephanie, we are hearing that gadhafi is saying that america is not the international police force for the world or. are the libyan people hoel hoping for some invasiention fr the west na. >> reporter: i they they are. in tripp they're waiting for assistance. you know, really, troops on the ground is not really an option anyone's talking about in any form. what is on the table, which has a lot of people concerned and interested in, particularly here in the city of benghazi,
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controlled by opposition forces, is this idea of a no-fly zone. nato's been considering it. that would mean that gadhafi could not use his jet fighters to bomb his own cities. there have been reports he did that over the last few days as part of these protests, as they kicked off. but people here are wondering if he's going to do it again. what you have to think about, if there is a no-fly zone put in place, who will enforce that? would that be u.s. fighter jets? the people on the ground are also looking for humanitarian assistance as well. certainly the people trying to get out of the country. benghazi a large migrant workforce, from bank da lesh, philippines. they are literally stuck here. boats can't accommodate them. they can't get to the border. some don't have passports because the places that hire them are based in tripoli. >> stephanie, thanks so much.
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gas prices, as you have witnesses are spiking in the u.s. because of the violence that's caused libya's oil production to fall by 50%. and now adding to that chaos, the european union says moammar gadhafi is no longer in control of the oil fields, that rebels are. expert john kingston joining me now. john, as we've seen gas prices rose last week to the highest level for this time of year inning several years. give us a sense why this is happening if so much libyan oil goes to europe and china. >> it doesn't matter. it's one big oil market. what impacts one area of the world, impacts other. for example, libya's a net importer of gasoline. they don't need much right now p. some of the gasoline is on its way to the u.s. you can see where the markets rebalance them. bottom line, production down 50%. i think that's conservative. i think best effort they lost 1.2 million out of 1.6, could be
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higher. it's a sweet crude. when you take that much off the market, you're going to have reaction. >> oil prices dropping to $98 a barrel. saudi arabia going to try to ease the situation by adding to the supply. that's not sufficient to change things, or will it? >> they are able to, in fact we had reports last week they were already offering cargos out. it takes a while to adjust. two things. first, as i mentioned, libyan crude is a high quality crude. think of a champagne of crude oil, low sulfur, a lot of transportation fuels come out of it. the saudi arabia crude is not as good. there's a price to pay for that. number two, you've got the long-term question of you're down to tighter spare capacity who is in control of the fields? it's not a linear substitution. >> how long before we see this impact the u.s. economy? >> it's difficult to say. i think you've tacked on 20, 30 cents. i think there's a general feeling that $4, maybe this is
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the reaction from where when it hit $4 a couple years ago. $4 is a tipping point in this country where demand does start to get cut. you start to see people lighten up on the gas pedal, you see changes in demand policy -- not demand policies but scenarios. the first line of concern would be places like fast-food restaurants, that sort of thing, very discretionary income-type thing. i think you almost ask those sectors, is it affecting you? they'd say, yes, it is. >> people out west already paying $4 a gallon. john kingstones, thanks. we want to look at the numbers on wall street. stocks are up today, because of saudi arabia's assurances of the global oil supply. the house and senate c conveniented minutes ago after a week-long presidents' day recess. top priority averting a government shutdown friday and how to it appears a short-term solution will be reached to help
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keep the government up and running. nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell is joining us with latest on that. good afternoon to you. >> reporter: hi, peter. we think that they're lining up to reach some sort of agreement this week. tomorrow will be a key day. there will be some work dealing with this proposal, a two-week extension, to keep all of the lights on for the government. that is worked on today, but the vote in the house, which will be critical, is scheduled for tomorrow. and once the house passes this, which is a republican-led idea, so it will easily pass the house, then it's in the senate's court. and the reason there's a new optimi optimism, we've been hearing from senate democrats there's an openness to try to resolve some of it, in part because they're describing some of the cuts in the $4 billion list as similar to some of the things that democrats have been standing behind. basically what you're looking at is those old earmark projects that got so much attention, they're targeting those, and money set aside for that push that aside, and other cuts that the president put in his own
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budget, making it more appealing for democrats to get behind that. it's a critical week. but the key here is we're talking about two weeks. that gives them breathing room to work on a longer-term solution. if they're not inclined to get that done, we could be right here playing this tape over again in two weeks. >> we'll have that queued up in case that happens. state budgets expected to be a chief topic when president obama met with the nation's governors. they're holding their annual winter gathering in the nation's capitol. meeting included democrat and republican governors. some of the gop governors want to scrap or radically change the president's health care law, oppose spending on projects, such as high speed rail, that are priorities of the president, and are sharply taking on labor unions in the struggle to balance the state's budget. the president took aim at that last battle. >> i believe that everybody should be prepared to give up something in order to solve our
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budget challenges, and i think most public servants agree with that. democrats and republicans agree with that. in fact, many public employees in your respective states have agreed to cuts. but let me also say this, i don't think it's doing anybody good when public employees are denny graded orville fied or rights are infringed upon. >> absent from the meeting the wisconsin governor, scott walker. of course he is dealing with a stand-off in his own state to eliminate most public employee union bargaining rights. protesters have been at the state capitol for two weeks now. reports today are suggesting that some republican state senators are prepared to side with their democratic colleagues who are holed up out of state to try to take down the governor's controversial budget bill. nbc's mike taibbi joining us madison, wisconsin, where he's
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been holding down the fort for the the last two weeks. many republicans are prepared to reach across the aisle there? >> reporter: the likelihood according to one republican source i spoke to is, better than 50/50 but only for 2 of the 4 or 5 moderate republicans who are considering backing a compromise or voting against the walker bill. here's how this shakes out. there are a number of moderate republicans, one, dale schultz long on regard saying he wants a compromise or will vote no on the walker bill. he's been in tfrgs wiconsiderat other republicans. some of the democrats hiding out have been talking to their republican colleagues trying to persuade at least two of them to join schultz, because if two join schultz, the ultimate math would be 17-16 for the democrats and that would be a blow to walker's plan to have this budget repair bill passed by the time he announces the budget
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tomorrow, tuesday afternoon, 4:00. senate democrats are hiding out on the other side of the line about they'll come back in a hurry if they get two republicans to join their side in voting against walker's bill. that's all speculative. as one senate democrat told me a half hour ago, we don't have a deal but we're continuing to talk, and that's a good thing from their point of view. >> talking, at least some progress at this point. mike, thanks so much. coming up next on "news nation" -- >> it's like everybody thinks i should be like begging for my job back and i'm going to forewarn them that it's everybody else that's going to be begging me for their job back. >> charlie sheen's bizarre interview. find out how much he says cbs needs to pay him to return to his show. and in his own words, what bernie madoff is saying about his massive ponzi scheme from behind bars. plus, firing back. supreme court justice clarence thomas taking on critics who
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we're back on "news nation." actor charlie sheen sits down for his first television interview since the his hit sitcom was shut down for the season. sheen claims he's misunderstood, not mad, and it's passion, he claimed. he told this to nbc's jeff rossen saying he's, quote, a rock star from mars and despite making $2 million per episode for "two and a half men," sheen wants yet more money. >> ever show up to the set drunk? >> never once. never once. you know, a little bit sideways,
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but never loaded. nothing on the set, no. when i step between the lines it's on, i'm there to show howers how it's done, it's not rocket science. >> you're angry. >> i'm passionate. everybody thinks i should be begging for my job back and i'm going to forewarn them it's everyone else begging me for their job back. i'm a man of my word. i'll do season ten, but at this point because of psychological distress, oh, my god, it's 3 million an episode, take it or leave it. >> you want a raise? >> well, yeah. look what they put me through. >> so you make 2 million an episode now. >> roughly. >> and you want 3 million now? >> because i'm underpaid now, sure. >> you're under paid in. >> look at the money they're making it's ridiculous. i'm tired of pretending like i'm not a [ bleep ] rock star from mars. they can't process me. i don't expect them to. you can't process me with the normal brain. >> sounding like the 3 million
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that sheen wants may not be the lim limit. a report according to the "new york post" where the former platoon and wall street star plans to file a lawsuit against cbs seeking $320 million for mental anguish. again, a post report right now. joining me now is entertainment lawyer. if you can, acknowledging this just being reported right now, can a coherent legal argument be made that charlie sheen would be due this kind of money for potential mental anguish? >> well, you know, peter, lawyers can make coherent arguments about a lot of things that don't make sense. reality of the situation is, is he being treated in such a manner, no reasonable person could be expected to tolerate it? and as such, would he be entitled to compensation? in this case, he's the troublemaker, he's the problem, he went out on the record and said a bunch of things. we we haven't seen his contract. $320 million, i don't see it happening. >> if you can, acknowledging what you just said, taking the
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course of action that he has and make it clear, charlie sheen is talking again today, does he potentially place himself at some risk of a countersuit from the executives at cbs? >> certainly. there's defamation for the things that he said, slander that he's making a lot of accusations that they've treated him in a certain manner. also the potential co-works are could sue him and say he's interfering with their chance to make money because he's not keeping his contractual obligations. and by doing so, they're not getting paid. so he's looking the a lot of suits from other people, producers, guys behind the camera, as well as production high up saying he's now tanking the highest rated sitcom ever. >> give us a sense, all of the things he's saying right now, statements he's made, some referred to as anti-semitic of his colleagues at "two and a half men" -- the creator of "two and a half men," does he risk losing public support and public sympathy in a way that could affect him if this were to go to
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trial? >> the reality of the situation is, america's a foergiving country. charlie sheen on christmas eve held a knife to his current wife's neck, he was arrested, charged with felonies and guess what in? went back to work and got a raise. the reality of the situation is, sure, he does, he's mel gibson, he's got that possibility, or the guy that used to be on seinfeld who said all of these racist comments, is it going to hurt him? potentially. but do people acknowledge if he says i'm taking steps, going through treatment, i didn't mean it, i was in a bad place, are they going to watch the show? probably. >> kelly, thanks so much. before we leave this topic, we want to let you know breaking news. charlie sheen story continues to develop. we have learned that his publicist stan rosen field has quit, he has left charlie sheen. here's a statement. i'll read it. we're just getting it handed to us now. i've worked with charlie sheen for a long time and i care about him very much.
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however at this time i'm unable to work effectively as his publicist and have respectively -- respectfully resigned, that follows interviews charlie sheen has done with radio stations, the "today" show and speaking online with nbc news. convicted swin eed swindsle madoff talks about his ponzi scheme. this was significant because it's the first time we're getting to hear madoff in his own voice. he speaks by phone from the prison where he is serving 150 years for cheating investors out of $65 billion, and he defends himself. >> i'm not a horrible person. i kept on, you know, sort of telling myself, you know, that some, you know, some miracle was going to happen or that i was going to be able to work my way out of it, okay. i just didn't know -- i just didn't know what that -- what
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that was. >> just like in his recent interview with "the new york times," madoff says that banks and hedge funds were guilty of what he calls willful blindness, as they continued to work with him without asking questions. he puts a lot of blame on them. madoff insists his family, again, knew nothing of his scheme. still ahead -- details on a facebook scam targeting women. crooks here are posing as soldiers, then trying to get money from their new facebook friends. also, a disturbing sight on the shores of the gulf of mexico. dozens of dead dolphins suddenly appear. is the oil spill to blame?unts nd . so i take one a day men's 50+ advantage. it's the only complete multivitamin with ginkgo to support memory and concentration. plus vitamin d to help maintain healthy blood pressure. [ bat cracks ] that's a hit. one a day men's. what was i thinking? but i was still skating on thin ice with my cholesterol.
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information. they contact a woman and after gaining her trust and love online, they ask for money. some of these folks are even using pictures of soldiers who have died overseas. joining us now is nbc analyst and former fbi profiler, clint van zandt. the more you learn about this, the uglier it is. if you can help us explain. effectively, this is identity theft. who are they really targeting? >> absolutely. well, it's a number of different people. by and large, it's vulnerable individuals, either men and women, usually women across the united states who are either looking to befriend a servicemen, who wouldn't if we received mail from somebody in iraq or afghanistan who said, i want to talk, wouldn't do that back and forth. but what we're seeing happen quickly is someone, usually from russia, philippines or you and i and everybody knows the nigerian scams that have been around, they try to get you to send
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money, your checking account, something like that, and in this case, someone will purport they're trying to develop friendship with you, they'll send pictures like we're looking at now saying i'm a soldier, i need friends, and then all of a sudden you're writing back and forth, and you've got a relationship going. >> clint, you've been writing on this topic, saying the victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars. in one case $25,000. let me show you what facebook has said, in response to this. there's nothing more important to us than the safety and security of the people who use facebook. it's a violation of our policies to impersonate someone and we disable fake accounts when they're reported to us. but ultimately, it's up to each one of us as individuals to say if someone's asking me for money and i don't know them, you better ask a couple extra questions, right? >> yeah. if it sounds too good, it probably is. it's the old song, looking for love in all the wrong places. if you're finding it on the
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internet,en and you don't know who purports within a week or two all of a sudden they love you, they're saying please send me money so i can get a phone card, buy a compute, buy an airplane ticket and see you, or sent you a form and say fill it out and the military will let me call you, all you have to do is write down your name, address, social security number, peter, there should be red flags going off all over. the old thing again, if it sounds too good, if this person sounds too good to be true, it's probably a fake. you shouldn't walk away from it, you should run from it. >> taking advantage of the american soldiers ultimately. it's their reputation, too. could baja, arizona, become the u.s.' 51st state? details on a plan to have southern arizona secede from rest of the state. a g-mail glitch, locks out thoughts from their e-mail
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account and messages. did it happen to you? a new orleans school wants to bring back paddling as punishment, and many parents are in favor of it. [ female announcer ] experience dual-action power, with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only listerine® that gets teeth two shades whiter
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her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve
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and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. welcome back to "news nation." striking back, defiant supreme court justice chairance thomas taking on critics who say he and his wife's political activism compromises his position on the high court. mystery in the gulf. dozens of baby dolphins turn up dead along the gulf coast. is the bp oil spill to blame? gut check, a catholic school in new orleans wants to bring back paddling, but should corporal punishment be used in today's schools? and mission in space. astronauts stepping outside the shuttle to get work in on their first space walk. supreme court justice clarence thomas has fired back at critics who have attacked his impartial alty, both because of
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his attendance at a meeting of major conservative donors, as well as because of his wife's activism with the tea party. justice thomas defended his wife in a speech, saturday night in virginia. it was a symposium for conservative law students. >> my bride is with me, virginia thomas, and some of you may know her, but the reason i bring that -- specifically bring it up -- is there is a price to pay today for standing in defense of your constitution. when you see people standing in defense of what's right -- that you make sure that your voice is not remembered as one of the silent. >> so joinings now is politico's investigative correspondent reporter, ken vogel. obviously an audio recording only but maybe you can help fill in the blanks and give us a better sense of what else clarence thomas said during the meeting. >> this is the first time that clarence thomas has spoken out. it's not publicly, it's semi
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public, because this was closed to the press, and we got this audio recording from someone who was there. but it's the first time since he's become the target of this criticism that he's he said anything about it. what he said was that the criticism undermines the court and that it's an effort to sort of undermine the credibility of the court. liberals who had been attacking him previously about his attendance at this conference about his wife's activism, they of course seized on the speech to say, a, look you're affiliating with your wife's tea party actism and you're compromising yourself and, b, you're the one undermining the integrity of the court. i think this is an issue where liberals see it as one that has traction for them, and we're going to continue to hear about clarence thomas from them. >> you bring up liberal groups, one, common cause, says thomas should have recused himself from the supreme court's landmark decision that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts cannot be limited under the first amendment. where does this go from here?
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>> they're going to continue to pressure him to recuse himself not just from campaign finance cases, which they say that his objectivity has been compromised by virtue of his wife running a gup that can accept the donations but the attendance at the coke donor conference that many of the money does go to the type of ads. the rules for supreme court justices are ambiguous. it's largely left to them when they have a conflict of interest and when they need to recuse themselves. legal scholars say the types of activity that his wife is involved in, speaking at this donor conference, they don't rise to the level of requiring a recusal, anyway. >> guinea thomas and clarence in the middle of another controversy. thank you. president obama's decision to stop legally supporting the defense of marriage act does not end the debate, but it does put advocate for traditional
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marriage on the offensive. that's what they say. executive director of the family institute of connecticut said friday, quote, if anything, this increases the chances of the traditional marriage side. the oesh pobama policy is much honest than it was just 24 or 48 hours ago. the president of the human rights campaign and he's joinings now live from washington, d.c. joe, thanks for your time. gay rights groups got good news from the president, but you can see that it's certainly lit the fire under proponents of traditional marriage. how do the human rights groups, like yours, now respond? >> well, i think, first and foremost, it's important to remember what it is that we're responding to. the issue in this case really is whether or not couples in states where marriage equality is legal, like massachusetts, ought to be afforded the same federal benefits that all married couples in massachusetts should be afforded. president considered that question. he determined that it was not only unfair, but
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unconstitutional. and so, you know, there you have it. the case will continue to move its way through the courts. i think one of the things that's been interesting about the response, i should say one is probably the lack of response by many on the other side, but those who have responded, whether the organizational response that you mentioned or some in congress, has been really around sort of procedure and the law, and not really on the merits of the issue, which i think, quite frankly, is a victory for our side. >> joe, important to note, gay marriage opponents are saying that they're hoping that the speaker of the house, john boehner, will now get involved and he would appoint a special counsel to do the job that the department of justice refuses to do. so is this going to sort of ratchet up the rhetoric and the stakes, as we go forward? >> well, that's certainly the right of the speaker to do. what is interesting is that just
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the other day speaker boehner -- an example of not wanting to deal with this on the merits perhaps he sees it aan issue the american people are moving to -- but felt the president's statement was out of step with what he should be focused on. he should be focused on jobs and economy, putting people back to work and figuring the nation's economy, not a social issue like the defense of marriage act. if that's what the speaker had to say, it seems rather strange to me that he's not going to take his own advice and do just that in the house. >> the president of the human rights campaign, joining us washington. appreciate your time. a push to find the rapist who has been striking along the east coast. that tops our look at stories around the "news nation" today. electric billboards of this so-called east coast rapist are going up along highways from virginia to rhode island. they show police sketches of this unidentified man who has been attacking women for more than a decade.
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the detectives are hopeful pictures will encourage people to call in tips, and they hope provide a break in this long-term case. wildfires in west texas have destroyed 80,000 acres. the fire destroyed dozens of homes, hundreds of people evacuated. a 5-year-old girl, sadly, was killed during a car accident blamed on heavy smoke from one of the fires there. take a look at this. outside of the international space station. that is where two crew members from "discovery" are participating in a spacewalk as we speak. they are spending the afternoon moving a broken ammonia pump to a better location. hard to do at home let alone in outer space. installing an extension cable and other chores, what they call them, chores. the last flight for "discovery." scientists still don't know what's behind deaths of some 67 bottle nose dolphins in the gulf of mexico. dolphins began washing ashore at the start of the year. to discuss this strange
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occurrence, jeff corwin, the science environmental expet for msnbc and a wildlife biologist. i heard you on the network trying to give a better sense of what may be at play here. what do you believe is causing the deaths of these dolphins? sadly, it includes fetuses, as well. >> yes. good afternoon, peter. this is a true mystery. it's turned itself into an animal version of csi investigation. basically, what's happened is, we've had almost 60 dolphins die along the gulf coast of mexico in what's been most shocking about the mass death of dolphins is that 60% of them, more than 29, have been calves or premature fetuses, actually stillborn, before it was time for a proper birth. and of course, we now know that it was just a few months ago that this whole region was boiling in the oil spill. the deepwater horizon dumped
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almost 5 million barrels of oil and we used 800,000 gallons of dispersant. we don't know if these chemicals in this oil spill had an impact on these creatures. but one interesting factor if we compare the years prior, for example, 2009 and 2010, they had very few calf deaths. so this certainly is something very alarming. >> you speak about it being aalarming. that's certainly the case. in the last several months, safe to say, we've seen mass deaths of fish, of birds, and now, of course, these dolphins. aside from speculation that the oil spill may have been significant in this case, do you think there's some 0 sort of environmental change ultimately taking place in that area? >> i think it's very possible. and i do believe until the evidence comes back and we get an absolute conclusion, you know, it is quite possible that this oil spill and potentially the dispersants and the other
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factors involved with this unprecedented environmental catastrophe had some role to play in the death of these dolphins. there's some interesting things we can look at. for example, there are other things that could have killed these dolphins, like red tide or the nasty cold snap we've had. but if those would have been the factors contributing to these deaths we would have seen one age class, we wouldn't have just seen baby dolphins. we would have seen adults, juveniles, other fish. and the other thing is that these dolphins are pinnacle species. so maybe they're indicating other changes in the ecosystem that we need to worry about. >> heartbreaking images, regardless of what's causing it. jeff corwin, thank you. james fran coand anne hathaway supposed to bring a younger, hip vibe to the academy awards. but did it work? courtney hazlett has the oscar scoop. a lot going on today. here's some things we thought you should know.
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congressman david wu will stay in office, despite call for his resignation. trying to reassure voters after admitting mental health problems caused him to behave strangely last fall. he sent a picture of himself in a tiger costume. congressman wu blamed his behavior on mental health difficulties due to the end of his marriage. he has sought help and is in a good place. residents in southern arizona want to create a new state called b eed baja, arizon. trying to get people macounty to secede from the rest of arizona. they say the state legislature has gone too far to the right. organizers admit it will be a daunting task. the first task is trying to get the question on the ballot for voters next year. first lady michelle obama is teaming up with the first couple of tennis to fight childhood
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coming up, charlie sheen, not exactly the king's speech, but the talk everyone in america is fascinated by this afternoon. we'll get the very latest on the star turned, in his own words, warlock, and we'll ask if charlie will ever work again in that town. google says it has restored
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e-mail service to some of its users, after a reset glitch accidentally erased hundreds of thousands of their messages. this may have happened to you. it's worth going online. as many as 500,000 g-mail subscribers claim they lost more than a year's worth of correspondence, logs and their settings. it all happened yesterday. the company says it expects to resolve the problem for its accounts, quote, in the near future. but google isn't any more specific about that time frame. the ratings are in and so how did anne hathaway and james franco do when it comes to the audience as the oscars? buzz that franco may have been under the influence on stage. courtney hazlett live in l.a. the numbers are in, and what do they tell us. >> they're telling us that, overall, ratings for the oscars ceremony were down 7% overall. not all of the exact numbers, we know 37.6 million people tuned into the broadcast.
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but they're also saying that they weren't able to hole that younger 18 to 49 demographic that's important for advertisers. overall, down, but in the demo they were trying to hit, namely with james franco and anne hathaway, hearing it held okay. >> we're showing some of what folks said about franco and hathaway, mostly what they said was about franco himself. "the washington post" said he was heavy lidded and smirky, a dad tad bebuildered, distant and uninterested. usa prepare fofrging for a rema dazes and confused. i think he missed his own party to hop on a plane, according to twitter and other places. >> that's right. people are saying was he under the influence of something? under the influence of abject boredom. no life in him. he did not play well to any room. it wasn't falling lat in the
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kodak theatre, it was falling flat in every viewing party i know of. really disappointing. anne hathaway, bless her heart, she had a lot nor carry last night than i think she ever signed up for. she did well enough, but truthfully it took billy crystal coming out two hours into the broadcast to breathe life into the show. never thought i would say i wish billy crystal would come out right now but that was something i was finding myself, and a lot of people, were finding themselves saying. >> old hollywood charm. courtney hazlett, thanks so much. for the latest entertainment news, scoop.todayshow.com or be a fan on facebook. "news nation" gut check up next. new orleans catholic high school wants to bring back paddling. the archbishop says that discipline does not belong in a catholic school but school officials and plenty of parents say it works. details are next. as a manager, my team counts on me to stay focused.
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parents at a prominent catholic school say the answer is yes. the only catholic school in the country that gave kids the paddle for bad behavior but recently like that it just stopped. the archbishop says paddling could cause physical and emotional harm. parents are mad. they say one of the big tleenz sent the kids to st. augustin was policy. >> i do it at my own house. it doesn't do anything but help. >> it didn't hurt him. he's fine. he's a grown man now. he's doing well. and no harm ever came to him. he's never been to prison,
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picked up by the cops. he did not suffer from a paddle once in his life. >> it's a hot topic here. it's a hot topic on radio as well. joining me nationally syndicated talk show host, michael smerconish, also an msnbc contributor. weigh in on this, if you can. the school held a public meeting where parents urges the school to bring back paddling. are you surprised parents are saying, let's do this? they sent their kids to school in the first place. >> i don't know if you can see through your monitor, i'm holding in my hands my mother's weapon of choice. a yardstick from a hardware store. >> welcome to the smerconish house. >> if my brother and i were raising hell at home and knew there would be retribution, first thing we would do is hide this because it would come our way. i say it's the way i was raiseded. would i want somebody else paddling my kids? absolutely not. but i do understand the mind-set of those who say, in moderation,
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it's not a bad thing. >> but the point is, they sent their kids to this school to st. agusten so they knew what they were getting when they sent them. there why should the school say, we're backing off? >> yeah, well, i guess because of the climate in which we live. i was astounded by that story to see how few -- what is it, 9%, based on 2007-2008 data -- schools in the united states are using corporal punishment or spank, paddling, whatever you call it. it's out of keeping with the "times." i think that's the reason. >> there's the figure, students disciplines with corporal punishment in the year 2006-2007 was 223,000. remarkable. we know about your personal experience going forward. what are the alternatives? what can they do arc side from corporal punishment, to accomplish the same task? >> i think part of the problem is teachers are being asked to play so many more roles today
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than they used to. they're being asked to play instructor, social worker, mother and father, many at home don't have both in the same house, we're asking them to be disciplinarians. we can't heap all of this responsibility on the poor teachers. >> a cameo for you today, smerconish family paddle. >> notice she gave it back. when i became an adult, she said you my may as well have it yourself. >> congratulations on your graduation, i'm handing this down. glad she's not using it anymore, thanks, michael. what does your gut tell you? should schools use corporal punishment to discipline children? answer that, go to "news nation," to vote. that does iter for me on "s natio nation". stick around for the premiere of the martin bashir show.el nd becka's science fair is on the 8th. she's presenting the solar system. hey, i've got just the wholegrain fiber to keep her full so she can stay focused.
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